General Discussion Gear Reviews & Questions » How many speeds do I really need? Rss Feed  
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2010-10-11 7:42 AM

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Subject: How many speeds do I really need?
I found a Specialized road bike on craigslist the other day for $250.  It's only got 4 speeds.  My first tri is in 7 months and it will be flat.  I've never done any cycling or owned a road bike.  I live in Florida and I never really encounter large hills.  Do I need anything more than a 4 speed?  And is it possible to change it later?  

Thanks 


2010-10-11 8:10 AM
in reply to: #3144417

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Subject: RE: How many speeds do I really need?
On a flat tri with no wind you only need one, provded it's the correct gear. The more gears you have, the better chance you will have that one correct gear.
2010-10-11 8:20 AM
in reply to: #3144417

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Subject: RE: How many speeds do I really need?

What's the gearing that's on the bike right now?

2010-10-11 8:56 AM
in reply to: #3144491

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Subject: RE: How many speeds do I really need?
she said she just put on a shimano crank set??  does that have anything to do with the gearing?  I'm completely novice to this terminology 
2010-10-11 9:33 AM
in reply to: #3144417

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Champion
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Subject: RE: How many speeds do I really need?
There is no current (or anything in the last 20 years) system that has 4 gears, that I'm aware of. I'm actually kind of curious what's on that bike. 

14? That would be a double up front and 7 in back. Not new by any means, but not necessarily bad.
2010-10-11 10:02 AM
in reply to: #3144712

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Subject: RE: How many speeds do I really need?
She said 4 speeds on the e-mail... I'm wondering if she knows just as much as me which would be next to nothing lol.  If it does only have 4 speeds, how difficult would it be to replace to new gears?  Because I'm saving so much to begin with would it really be worth it to just upgrade the gears? I'd be able to throw at least a couple hundred into the bike upfront.


2010-10-11 10:30 AM
in reply to: #3144417

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Subject: RE: How many speeds do I really need?
Just something to think about:  If you're willing to throw a couple hundred at an old, used bike why not try to find a better used bike with newer components for the price that you're willing to sink into this "4 speed", or save another hundred or so and buy a new entry level bike? 

Again, just something for you to consider.  Good luck in your search for the right bike.
2010-10-11 10:54 AM
in reply to: #3144862

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Subject: RE: How many speeds do I really need?
This is the first bike (under $800) that is my size and close enough for me to try out to make sure it fits me.  I'm just really nervous getting a bike through a website or something that is cheaper than my LBS and not being able to ride it first.  This is just so confusing!  But I appreciate everyone's input - it's really helping me out Laughing.
2010-10-11 11:32 AM
in reply to: #3144417

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Subject: RE: How many speeds do I really need?
You want a suggestion? Don't get it.

I've never heard of a 4 speed. Doesn't mean they don't exist, just that I've never heard of it. That means it's NOT a common setup which means you're going to play hell trying to find parts for it.

3 speed, yes. 5 speed, yes. 4 speed, no. Weird.

$800 is right at the entry point to start finding low end tri bikes and low/mid level road bikes on the ebay/craigslist market. Wait, save your money and pick one of those up when you trip over one. Until then see about renting something to find out if you even like this stuff before you drop money into it.
2010-10-11 11:37 AM
in reply to: #3144417

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Subject: RE: How many speeds do I really need?
1.  4 speeds just isn't enough.  Yeah, there's probably a flat race for which it's good enough, but the reality is- you are going to want a bike with way more than 4 speeds.
2.  I've never heard of a 4 speed bike.  I think there's an error here somewhere.

Most modern rear cassetts have 10 speeds with 2 chainrings up in front for 2 x 10 = 20 speeds.
Some bikes, especially mountain bikes and those designed for steeper hills will have 3 chainrings in front for 3 x 10 = 30 speeds.   Oh- the chainrings are the big gears that are next to your pedals.  the cassette is the group of gears on the hub of your rear wheel.

you'll find bikes with 8 or 9 speeds on the cassette- and that's OK too.  So, you'll have 16 or 18 speeds.  (or 24 or 27 speeds if you have 3 chainrings up front).

If the bike doesn't have one of the aforementioned combinations- I'd highly question its suitability for you.

2010-10-11 11:47 AM
in reply to: #3144417

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Subject: RE: How many speeds do I really need?
thanks for all the input!  I've decided to wait and see what else it out there for me.  THANKS!


2010-10-11 11:57 AM
in reply to: #3144417

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Subject: RE: How many speeds do I really need?
There are many, many bikes out there for sale. You might try watching the classifieds here or checking any local tri club sites that may have a classified section on their website. I got a great deal on my last bike on a tri club website.
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